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"The Battle of the Virginia Capes, 1781" Topic


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407 hits since 5 Sep 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian05 Sep 2019 6:48 p.m. PST

Every American schoolboy knows that Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown and that his surrender ended the American Revolution. Some of us may have been vaguely surprised that the end was so quick and so complete. Did the French and Americans have to do no more than surround Cornwallis at Yorktown and hold him there? Why did he not receive aid from British ships and armies in other parts of the Colonies, left free by the American concentration at Yorktown? An idle curiosity on this subject led to the information that British and French ships had met off the Virginia Capes, and that the French remained in control of the sea approach to Yorktown. This, then, was the reason that Cornwallis looked in vain for aid. The encounter between the ships stands out as a vitally important step in the progress of events, yet it has no name and no schoolboy has heard of it. Was it a small action or a great one? Was it a skirmish or fought to a finish? What commanders were entitled to the palm of victory or the ignominy of defeat?…

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StarCruiser06 Sep 2019 7:51 a.m. PST

Peculiar article for that site… Pretty much anyone who has a reasonable knowledge of the AWI would know about that sea battle.

The French fleet was a keystone to the plans of the combined force holding Cornwallis at Yorktown. They needed the French fleet to keep the English Fleet from resupplying or evacuating Cornwallis.

DeGrasse, being quite the capable leader he was, did the job admirably well and sealed Cornwallis' fate.

Bill N06 Sep 2019 8:53 a.m. PST

It appears the article was written in1940.

StarCruiser06 Sep 2019 3:03 p.m. PST

Yep – appears to be an article from a NIP publication from way back…

Lots of minor errors cropped up from the conversion from the print to internet version (like "He Grasse" instead of "De Grasse").

Joe Legan07 Sep 2019 1:43 p.m. PST

I had always heard of it as the Battle of the Chesapeake. I just googled it and apparently it is called both. Interesting. Agree it is hardly unknown to history buffs.

Joe

nugrim08 Sep 2019 5:19 a.m. PST

the virgin capes vs the chadshapeake bay

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